Yamaha vs Kenwood

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  • 12-09-2003, 05:41 AM
    brian_tr
    Yamaha vs Kenwood
    I have a Yamaha 795a. It sounds great on DTS and Digital Dolby but all else is not that good. My brother has a Kenwood KC-X1 Tuner with a seperate 5 channel amp. It sounds great no mater what you play on it. He gets good surround sound no mater what it is. On mine if is not DTS or DD everything pretty much comes out of the center or main speakers. Music is hardly worth listening to on it. Is it the THX tech that makes is sound so much better? I was thinking about maybe getting a Kenwood VR-7080.
  • 12-09-2003, 06:46 AM
    Keith from Canada
    Let me get this straight...
    You are comparing your current $500 receiver to your brother's $1K pre-amp and 5 channel power amplifier? I'm not surprised that the Yammie is not meeting your expectations although I would be very surprised if the Kenwood either.

    In terms of overall quality, you will find that it's difficult to beat Yamaha. They offer some of the highest quality at virtually every price range...of course, you do still get what you pay for and you cannot expect to match a $2K system with a $500 piece.
  • 12-09-2003, 08:19 AM
    Bryan
    Agreed. If the $500 Yamaha isn't meeting your expections versus your brother's $1000+ setup that isn't a bad thing. After all, compare your Yamaha versus a comparable Kenwood receiver. My guess is you will find you enjoy your Yamaha much more.

    Now, if you want to beat your brother's you may want to look at the Outlaw 950 preamp and 7100 amp. Those go for $1,700, including shipping.
  • 12-09-2003, 11:20 AM
    TinHere
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by brian_tr
    I have a Yamaha 795a. It sounds great on DTS and Digital Dolby but all else is not that good. My brother has a Kenwood KC-X1 Tuner with a seperate 5 channel amp. It sounds great no mater what you play on it. He gets good surround sound no mater what it is. On mine if is not DTS or DD everything pretty much comes out of the center or main speakers. Music is hardly worth listening to on it. Is it the THX tech that makes is sound so much better? I was thinking about maybe getting a Kenwood VR-7080.

    I went from the RX-V995 to the RX-V2400. The DPLII that the 995 was lacking has made a big difference in 5.1 playback from stereo sources and offers a much more balanced sound. It brings the rears to life unlike what I was hearing with DPL which I seldom used.
  • 12-09-2003, 12:33 PM
    Woochifer
    Your surrounds sound less than optimal for one of three reasons 1) the original source material does not have active surround channels to begin with, therefore relative quiet surrounds were intended to sound that way by the mixing engineer; 2) your surround level and/or delay settings are incorrect; or 3) your surround channels are switched off or the effect is turned off.

    Unless you did the comparison by simply swapping out the receiver in your setup, there are too many other variables to conclusively say that your receiver's responsible for the difference that you observed with your brother's Kenwood unit. On non-DD and DTS sources, your receiver's playing everything back through only the front speakers because that's how the source was ORIGINALLY intended to sound (depending on whether a lot of surround activity got mixed into the Dolby Surround soundtrack). Do you expect your receiver to play music through all five speakers? If you do, then you need a processor/receiver that has a five-channel stereo mode or DPLII, which almost all newer receivers have. IMO, you're better off with simple two-channel playback if you're listening to CDs, and work on the speaker positioning to get the best spatial effect.

    In the greater scheme of things, audible differences between systems are typically dictated the most by room acoustics and the speakers. The differences between the amp, front end sources, or cabling are much less significant. So, if you heard two different systems in different rooms and using different speakers, much more of the difference can be attributed to those two factors than the receiver (unless you're also including five-channel stereo, DSP modes, or other signal processing).

    As others have said, Yamahas are about as consistently reliable as you'll find. Your particular model is now five generations removed, and a lot has changed in the meantime. But, in actuality, the only things you really need are 5.1 DD and maybe DTS, and you've already got those features. Whether or not it's time for an upgrade depends on how much you value things like DTS ES, DD EX, DPLII, more DSP modes, and extra digital in/outputs.

    Kenwoods can deliver decent value, but their product quality and design acumen can often be highly questionable. Some product runs and models are built and designed well, while others have had major problems in the reliability and/or design. You're really rolling the dice with Kenwoods. The linked article below shows the design problems with one of their previous THX Ultra receivers, and the author rightfully takes issue with Kenwood's decision to mount the digital processor board directly over the heat generating power transistors. (Note on their impedance switch comments, I believe that UL now requires the impedance selector for receivers to get UL listed)

    http://www.smr-home-theatre.org/blowing/index-j.html
  • 12-09-2003, 03:31 PM
    brian_tr
    Thanks for the replies. I quess I need to do some more research before buying. Will look at some of the new Yamaha's.
  • 12-09-2003, 03:41 PM
    TinHere
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by brian_tr
    Thanks for the replies. I quess I need to do some more research before buying. Will look at some of the new Yamaha's.

    As long as you're thinking Yamaha check out the RX-V 1400 or 2400. They are the newest one's that have YPAO which isn't available in the HTR series. The newer runs of also have DPLIIx listed on the box.